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The Lost Spells

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  848 ratings  ·  206 reviews
The follow-up to the internationally bestselling sensation The Lost Words, The Lost Spells is a beautiful collection of poems and illustrations that evokes the magic of the everyday natural world.

Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 27th 2020 by Anansi International
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Average rating 4.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  848 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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There is one word that describes this book perfectly, and that word is: enchanting!
Enchanting literally means "to put under a spell." Now I'm sure you can see why I think "The Lost SPELLS" is utterly enchanting!
I discovered Robert Macfarlane (the brilliant wordsmith and author) and Jackie Morris near the end of last year. I was researching environmentalist writing and illustration for my own personal interest in the subject, and that's when I stumbled upon them! I watched countless interviews
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the Lost Words was released back in 2017 no one ever thought that it would become a phenomenon in its own right. It was conceived after the OUP dictionary removed several words relating to the natural world and Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris collaborated to produce a stunningly beautiful book that could teach children these words again. The poems or ‘spells’ from that book were put to music and there have been jigsaws and even a game.

This second book that takes the things that worked s
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read the poems - spells! - aloud (as advised) and I can’t even tell you how much joy they brought!!! Gorgeous gorgeous. Excuse the pun, but these are spellbindingly delicious. I will read again and again and again.
I picked this up from the library and the librarian said to me, “Such a pretty book.” It is so pretty and small enough to fit in your pocket...small enough to take with you for a walk in the woods. Beautiful. I think this needs to be mine.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
The Lost Words was one of my favourite books of 2017 with its evocative words and spellbinding images created by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. With 'Lost Spells' we are once again treated to this heavenly pairing and graced with another beautiful book with the power to stir even the hardest of hearts. Smaller in format than 'Lost Words', but no less impressive for that, it's the ideal size to hold in your hand or pop in a pocket. Macfarlane's poems/spells are filled with the rhythms of th ...more
R. G. Nairam
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: land-love-sick, own
12 October review: I don't know if this book will be as dear to me as the first, but there are poems about oak and birch, and I can't wait to see what happens with re-reading.

also, there's a /mini field guide/
Callum McLaughlin
Following the huge success of their previous collaboration, The Lost Words, poet Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris have created another ode to the beauty of the natural world, and the importance of preserving the language we use to describe it.

The text is always approachable, the playful imagery and lively rhythm making the poems ideal pieces to be read aloud. Take for example these excerpts from my favourite poem in the collection, Red Fox:

A bloom of rust
at your vision’s edge,
The sha
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book, find someone to read it aloud.
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a gift and in the card attached, the giver expressed that she thought this was the most beautiful book of 2020. She was absolutely right. Treat yourself to this treasure of a book.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, ng
This is such a beautiful book. The illustrations are just delightful and the accompanying poems are wonderful. My favourite is ‘The Jackdaw’. There’s so much to enjoy. Thank you to Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris, Net Galley and Penguin Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Alex Sarll
The sequel to The Lost Words – the only Macfarlane book I've not read, despite it quite possibly being his best seller (I always assumed I'd happen across a copy in a library one day, back when that was still a thing that happened). These are intended as summonings to bring back the natural world, which made me a little puzzled why the book would begin with fox, moth, daisy – surely ones to file alongside humans, ants and the coronavirus among the few life-forms still in ample supply in 2020s Br ...more
What a gorgeous book! I definitely will re-read this plenty of times.
The book itself it a hardcover, with a ribbon, and very beautiful watercolour paintings of nature - trees, birds, moths, flowers, and animals. The poetry and writing in it makes for delightful reading. This is a lush book, great for many of the senses. It's recommended to read it aloud, out in nature, and where you might possibly see and hear some of the animals that come to life within its pages.
Amanda Carlucci
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Possibly even better than The Lost Words - possibly. I love both books so much. They’re incredibly brilliant and beautifully written & illustrated!
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just a delight. Just as beautiful and tongue twisting as The Lost Words but where that book was oversized, this one is small, about the size of my hand. All the stars for the beautiful artwork by Jackie Morris and lovely verse by Robert Macfarlane celebrating nature!
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
The book itself is gorgeous. The inky blue cover, the paintings of nature, are stunning! I think the magic with this book is in the art and book design versus the spells and poems and such. It might have been the mood I was in, but I was expecting more magicalness from the text and instead I found my rhythm thrown off when I read most of the mix of poems, blessings, etc. I will try again though since the world you enter with the watercolors is worth revisiting. The book could be used by high sch ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely beautiful book. I've long said that Macfarlane is the best nature writer in the world today, and a stellar poet as well, and this book solidifies for me that these judgments are impeachable. I was mesmerized by every page, every line, every word. The thing about these poems is not only that they are lush, and full of stunning words and turns of phrase, and not only that the poems of each aspect of nature evoke the beauty of their subjects, but it's also that each poem is ev ...more
This book is full of gorgeous illustrations, and beautiful language. It is a series of poems, many of which are acrostics. An acrostic poem is a poem in which typically the first letter of each line spells a word going downward. However, these letters can appear anywhere - in a middle word, or the final word of each line. This poetic form inspired me to write my own acrostic.

This excerpt is part of the entry on the grey seal which illustrates what these acrostic poems look like:
Selkie-boy, Selk
cardulelia carduelis

Superior to the Lost Words this collection features about 4:1 full-page watercolours to poems. The poetry too has improved since the previous volume; no longer are we limited to acrostics but verse and rhymes.
We also meet a lot more wildlife in this book and many night-animals!
My problem is there's nothing that gives it a real edge. It's a very pleasant little book and will be a lovely gift for someone who's left the UK, but I would wait for the large-format version to really get the most out
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Such a beautiful collection. I got this one for my birthday, as a way to have some moments of rest and introspection throughout my busy university schedule, and that is exactly how I used it. I am not at all well-versed in poetry, and these might not be the best/deepest/most technically complicated poems ever written, but they left me with such a sense of calm and a new appreciation for the smaller things in nature that it didn't really matter to me. I love how, despite its recognition that a lo ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Follow-up to The Lost Words, The Lost Spells--incanted/sung/cast by Robert Macfarlane and illuminated by the amazing Jackie Morris--is my Best, Favorite, Most Miraculous, Inspiring and Beautiful Book of the Year. Such a tonic in any age, but especially this plague-ridden time. For children and deserving grown-ups and everyone in between and on either side. Goodreads needs a To Be Read Over and Over button. Highly recommended. (Especially love the student who learned Jackdaw by heart in the video ...more
J.J. Eden
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Spells is pure magic. Both the poetry and illustrations in this stunning little volume are so evocative and moving, pulling you straight into the wild beauty of nature. Together, they are utterly enchanting and weave a spell that seems to ground and connect the reader in the world whilst also sending us out on the wings and paws of every creature in its pages. Like The Lost Words and Spell Songs before it, this is a book I will return to again and again, will buy for my friends and fami ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. Both the poems and illustrations are beautiful, it's the sort of book that would probably make a great gift for a family with children as the poems are really well suited for a bedtime read in my opinion. But even reading this as an adult, I absolutely adored it. ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A naturalists heaven in a book. The illustrations are magnificent in their colors and strokes. The spells are poems of birds, flowers, and trees within every chapter and nook.

The glossary is actually a treasure hunt or game, to take with you as you enjoy nature and identify each one, by both common and Latin name.
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved it, and read the poems aloud at night in two sittings. The paintings are so beautiful, and I would suggest this to people who love nature writing, beautiful books, and animals. I will probably read it again.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not so much a book of spells but a call to commune with and through nature, this gorgeous book offers comfort through watercolor images and poems, a balm for wounded, lost souls in our chaotic, pandemic-idled world. Consider, for example, these words: “Fly, heart, fly! / Follow Swifts on their / screaming tours to / flicker far out over ocean, / hunt a storm cell’s / shifting edge or pierce / a cloud’s slow motion....”
Nikita Sudarshana Persaud
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An absolute triumph.

The Lost Spells is a little gem of a book, chock-full of gorgeous art and little poems that were actual therapy to sit and read out loud.

A book of spells indeed!
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Such a stunning tribute to nature and beautiful illustration as well of course.
Kirsty Cabot
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2021
It’s just absolutely stunning isn’t it! I loved the lost words, and this is just as beautiful and more of a manageable physical size too haha. Beautiful illustrations and wonderful words.
Sylvie McNair
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
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Robert Macfarlane is a British nature writer and literary critic.

Educated at Nottingham High School, Pembroke College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford, he is currently a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and teaches in the Faculty of English at Cambridge.

Robert Macfarlane is the author of prize-winning and bestselling books about landscape, nature, people and place, including Mountain

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